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3 posts from April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014

Furcal leaves rehab game with apparent quad injury

NEW YORK -- As if Friday's heartbreaking loss wasn't enough, it looks like Rafael Furcal could be out longer than anticipated.

According to Jeff Elliott, who covers the Marlins' Double A team the Jacksonville Suns, Furcal left Friday night's game with quad tightness after running the bases. Out since mid-March with a strained hamstring, the 14-year major-league veteran legged out a pair of doubles in Thursday’s game.

But things changed in the bottom of the third inning. After collecting his second hit of the game, Furcal sprinted past second toward third on Danny Black's base hit and eased up. Furcal easily scored moments later on a Brady Shoemaker double. But after receiving high-five slaps once he got to the dugout, Furcal took off his helmet and angrily flung it against the benches. Suns manager Andy Barkett talked to Furcal when the inning was over and elected to replace him at second base.

“I felt tightness in my quad going from second to third,” Furcal told Elliott. “There was no problem with the hamstring. I really think tomorrow it will be better. Life is like that. The only control I have is to keep playing hard and do the best I can. I’ll just wait to hear from the Marlins after that.”

After going hitless in his first two games with the Suns, Furcal had  put together four hits in his last six at-bats.

“My hitting isn’t my concern. I know I can hit,” the three time National League All-Star said. “I want to make sure my legs are in shape. I’ll be working hard at my hitting, and I know I can hit. That doesn’t bother me too much.”

Marlins looking for "somebody to step up and get some big outs" in the eighth inning

NEW YORK -- When it comes to solving his bullpen's late-inning woes this season, Mike Redmond made it  clear Friday the Marlins are just looking for "somebody to step up and get some big outs."

"We've been in a lot of games, been in a lot of close games, but unfortunately we've given up some big hits late in those games to lose," Redmond said. "It really coms down to trying to find those guys that are going to be able to pitch those late inning games. We're really going to try everybody to see what's going to work and see whose going to take those late innings. It's really up for grabs."

While closer Steve Cishek has remained a consistent force in the ninth inning with a franchise-record 33 consecutive saves entering Friday's game, the eighth inning has been a nightmare for the Marlins.

The team's eighth inning ERA entering Friday was 7.36 and opponents were hitting .304 against them in the frame. A year ago, Chad Qualls, Mike Dunn, and A.J. Ramos did a much better job handling the bulk of the eighth inning work as the Marlins combined for a 2.28 ERA and opponents hit just .202 against them.

This year, Qualls is the closer in Houston. Dunn (eight appearances, 11.37 ERA), Ramos (six appearances, 1.93 ERA) and left-hander Dan Jennings (four appearances, 0.00 ERA) have handled the eighth for the Marlins for the most part through the team's first 22 games. Carlos Marmol pitched once in the eighth and gave up a game-winning grand slam to the Nats' Jayson Werth on April 9th.

Right-hander Carter Capps, acquired in the Logan Morrison trade with Seattle, could be a solution, Redmond said.

"We got to get him out there and let him pitch," Redmond said. "I'd love to say maybe he can be the guy to do that with Marmol and Dunn and AJ. But we've got to get him out there in a game and see what he can do.

"Sometimes it just takes them a nice 1-2-3 inning to settle in and then take off. That's what we're hoping for."

> Redmond joked he's happy Major League Baseball decided to wait until Friday to adjust its transfer rule, which occurs when a fielder loses possession of a ball while trying to transfer it from his glove to his throwing hand.

The Marlins won two replay challenges because of the transfer rule over the past week -- April 18 in a win over the Mariners and Monday in a loss to the Braves.

The adjustment to the rule is that it will now be an out whenever a player has complete control over the ball in his glove, and if he drops the ball after opening his glove, it will still be ruled an out. There is no requirement to successfully remove the ball from the glove for it to be an out.

"I think those two plays, the Fish might have sent them over the edge," Redmond said. "... we'll see how it's interpreted going forward. So we'll all be watching to see what a catch is. I think I have an idea of what it is. But we'll see."

> Redmond said right-hander Jacob Turner, who pitched four innings in Single A Jupiter Wednesday, will pitch again Monday and throw between 75-80 pitches.

"The reports I heard from his first outing was that he was fine," Redmond said. "He gave up a couple runs, but he threw a lot of fastballs and everything was good healthwise. He's only been out a couple weeks so he hasn't lost a ton of throwing time. He's still in pretty good shape."

> Utility infielder Ed Lucas, on the disabled list for the past month with a fractured left hand, began his rehab assignment Friday night, batting second and starting at shortstop for the Hammerheads. Redmond said Lucas was going to play every position in the infield.

> Redmond said the Marlins still haven't decided when second baseman Rafael Furcal will be called up from his rehab assignment. Redmond said the team initially wanted Furcal to use up all three weeks of rehab work. Furcal had a pair of doubles and "played good defense," Redmond said, on Thursday night.

> Where does Redmond, a former catcher, stand on the pine tar debate stirred up by the recent suspension of Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda?

"I was thinking about grabbing a little pine tar the other day because the pencil was slipping out of my hands and I wanted to write some stuff down in the cold weather. Maybe that extra grip will help," Redmond joked.

"It didn't surprise me. A lot of guys use sun screen, whatever. You see pitchers all the time going to their wrist out on the mound. You don't see position players out there grabbing their wrist during the game. Come on. That's stuff has been going on for a long time. I think we all know that. But at the same time too you can't take the pine tar rag and just rub it on the side of your face.

"I've seen guys lick the pine tar rag. I'd advise against that. I'm not condoning that at all."

Jose Fernandez visits 9/11 Memorial on day off, pays respects

NEW YORK -- Jose Fernandez spent most of his free time during his rookie season last year hanging out in his hotel room and relaxing. 

Jose FernandezThis year, though, the 21-year old All-Star and Marlins ace said he wants to start to get to know America's history a little better. Thursday, Fernandez spent the Marlins' day off visiting the World Trade Center Memorial in Manhattan.

"I really wanted to go and pay my respects," Fernandez said. "This country has been amazing to me. So I'm here learning about it, being right there.

"When I was in school, history was my favorite subject. I want to learn a little more. When I go to Washington [next month] I want to see some things."

Although he was only nine years old when the terrorist attacks took place on Sept. 11, 2001, Fernandez said the images he saw on TV back home in his native Cuba stuck with him.

"We didn't see much [in Cuba], and we didn't get a lot of information, but we saw what happened," Fernandez said. "So when I got here obviously I looked into it. It was pretty special to be there [Thursday].

"Being there you imagine how it happened and the people that were in there, the people who ran out. You see the names, other people walking around and looking. It's just a weird feeling. You're not happy. You're just thinking about what people did, throwing themselves down 50-something floors. It's desperate moments. It's tough."

Fernandez said he was in school when the attacks took place that morning, but didn't learn of them until he got home from classes. Even afterward, he said, "they really didn't let us talk about it much in Cuba because it was America."

"We saw what happened, but we couldn't figure it out. Over there there's no internet, no information," Fernandez said. 

"It was just a feeling of shock [in Cuba]. Nobody could believe it or that somebody would do that."

> Reliever Carlos Marmol, who pulled his right hamstring in Wednesday's 3-1 loss in Atlanta, said he felt better Friday, but still didn't know if he would be able to pitch in the series opener against the Mets. He's battled pulled hamstrings before and gone to the disabled list with them in the past.

"I feel a lot better," Marmol said. "I'm going to go outside, play catch on the mound, see how I feel. It felt worse a couple days ago."


> Marlins (10-12): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Marcell Ozuna CF, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 6. Garrett Jones 1B, 7. Derek Dietrich 2B, 8. Adeiny Hechavarri SS, 9. Henderson Alvarez RHP.

> Mets (12-10): 1. Eric Young Jr. LF, 2. Curtis Granderson RF, 3. David Wright 3B, 4. Daniel Murphy 2B, 5. Chris Young CF, 6. Lucas Duda 1B, 7. Travis D'Arnaud C, 8. Ruben Tejada SS, 9. Zach Wheeler RHP.